Dental Implants

What are dental implants?
Teeth-In-An-Hour
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Overview of Implant Placement
After Implant Placement FAQ

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

What are dental implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.

Teeth-In-An-Hour

Teeth-in-an-hour is a revolutionary concept providing patients with fully functioning teeth on dental implants in one single procedure that lasts about an hour. This technology was recently developed by Nobel Biocare and allows for collaboration between both the restorative doctor and the surgeon. This merging of knowledge and experience achieves not only increased safety, but also a more precise implant placement… Read more about teeth in an hour.

A smiling elderly man

“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”

For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.

Surgical Advances in Dental Implants

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Morales, Dr. Shaikh, Dr. Alicea, and Dr. Antonos are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Morales, Dr. Shaikh, Dr. Alicea, and Dr. Antonos perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

Overview of Implant Placement

The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

The procedure to place a dental implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.

Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed.

When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.

A depiction of the upper jaw with all normal teeth
1. Normal
An example of the upper jaw missing a tooth with the jaw bone unhealed
2. Tooth Loss
An representation of a healed upper jaw bone after loosing a tooth
3. Healed Bone
An digital representation of the initial dental implant placed in the jaw bone
4. Implant Placed
A representation of the healed jaw bone after placement of the dental implant
5. Healing
An example of a fully restored tooth using a dental implant
6. Implant Restored

Healing after Dental Implant Surgery

Now the healing begins. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the dental implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.

Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.

It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.

Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

When are dental implants placed?

Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process—you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.

If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.

How many implants do I need?

Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.

After Implant Placement FAQ

What can I use for teeth while the implants heal?

Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary or permanent replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.

A middle-aged man and woman smiling with good teeth

What are the potential problems after dental implant surgery?

Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Occasionally, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. Even though great care is taken to place the implant precisely, occasionally adjacent teeth are injured in the placement process. In addition, there is a chance that the nerve in the lower jaw, which provides sensation to your lower lip and chin, may be affected. If you are missing quite a lot of bone, it might be difficult to place an implant without infringing on the nerve space. Although we take great care to avoid this nerve, occasionally it is irritated during the procedure, resulting in tingling, numbness or a complete lack of sensation in your lip, chin or tongue. Usually these altered sensations will resolve within time, but they can be permanent and/or painful. If you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care in the most appropriate way.

How long will the implants last?

Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant usually can be placed.

When are the replacement teeth attached to the implant?

The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jaw bone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.

The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. Most of the work involves actually making the new teeth before they are placed. Your appointments are considered more comfortable and more pleasant than previous methods of tooth replacement. Frequently, this process can be performed without local anesthesia.

Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allow us to produce a replica of your mouth and implants. We will also make “bite” records so that we see the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, we will make the abutments (support posts) that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist. Frequently, we can use “off the shelf” abutments. Other times, custom abutments must be made of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic material. As you can imagine, these custom made abutments add to the cost and treatment time involved. Which abutment to use is a decision that often cannot be made until after healing is complete and impressions have been made.

The number of appointments and the amount of time required for each appointment is different for each patient. No two cases are exactly the same and regardless of the number of teeth replaced, the work must be completed with great precision and attention to detail. If you are having only a few teeth replaced, as few as three short appointments may be required. Between appointments, we will need time to complete the necessary lab work to make your replacement teeth. It is most beneficial that you keep all of your scheduled appointments.

If your final restoration is a removable denture, you will need to come to as many as five office appointments (although it may be fewer) over the following several months. During these appointments, we will perform a series of impressions, bites and adjustments in order to make your new teeth, as well as the custom support bars, snaps, magnets, or clips that will secure your teeth to the implants. During this period, every effort will be made to ensure you have comfortable, temporary replacement teeth.

In general, once your implants are placed, you can expect your tooth replacement treatment to be completed anywhere from 1 to 12 months. For these reasons, it is difficult for us to tell you exactly how much the restorative phase of your treatment will cost, although you should receive a reasonable estimate from our office. It also is difficult to give you a specific timeframe for completion of your treatment until after the implants are ready for restoration.

A couple with great smiles

Dental Implants

are the most technologically advanced and longest lasting tooth replacement option available. Restore your confidence… Smile, Eat and Enjoy!

How do I clean my new teeth?

As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean implant-supported restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss and any other recommended aids. You should also visit your dentist several times each year for hygiene and maintenance. As with regular dentures and other tooth replacements, your implants and their associated components are subject to wear and tear and eventually will need repair, including clip replacement, relines, screw tightening, and other adjustments.

Will one doctor do everything?

Usually, a dental surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures – your general dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment. Also, depending upon a variety of factors, different dental specialists may help with your dental care.

How much does dental implant treatment cost?

Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants and making your replacement teeth. In many cases, there is an initial charge for the diagnostic work-up, including study models, x-rays, and the fabrication of a surgical template to ensure the best possible result. In addition you will be charged for the abutment or support post(s), plus the crown, dentures, or anything else that will be placed over the implants, including temporary restorations. Periodic maintenance such as hygiene visits, tissue conditioners, denture relines and other repairs will also incur additional charges.

When different doctors are involved in your treatment, you will be charged separately for their services. We will try to assist you in estimating what your actual payments will be after we evaluate your insurance coverage or other third party payments. Also, you should consider your personal financial investment in each treatment option as some insurance companies provide limited or no coverage.

Each patient is unique, and it is not possible for us to discuss every option and every contingency for treatment outcome. This website is intended to help you understand the general treatment options available to you. If your specific treatment options are not clear, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your dental care.

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Orofacial & Dental Implant Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 53 Dental Implants reviews.

Patient Review by Wynne G for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Really professional office and very friendly staff. Highly recommended.

- Wynne G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Monica D for Dr. Antonos in Winter Garden

Very friendly and courteous staff made me feel very comfortable.

- Monica D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Yolande V for Dr. Shaikh in South Orlando

I like services

- Yolande V

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Kimberly S for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Wonderful staff and very informative. Higy recommended.

- Kimberly S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Sandra M for Dr. Morales in Kissimmee

Orofacial in the best. I would definitely recommend Dr. Morales and his team. Everyone is so professional, thorough and caring. What more can I say except they are THE BEST!

- Sandra M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Natasha C for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Felt very welcomed and relaxed after seeing Dr. Morales.

- Natasha C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Greta M for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

I felt well taken care of. The staff here are caring and helpful.

- Greta M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Roger T for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Excellent work done

- Roger T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Ian A for Dr. Shaikh in South Orlando

Very friendly

- Ian A

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Jose S S for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Excellent,Proffessional,&very kind&understanding to my concerns. Newest

- Jose S S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Kevin F for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Dr Morales and the staff were fantastic throughout my implant procedure. It's been a year long process but they have been wonderful with explaining each step of the process and answering any questions I had. They did everything to help keep me comfortable during and after each procedure.

- Kevin F

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Kristin T for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Great doctor exce!lent staff

- Kristin T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Judith V for Dr. Morales in South Orlando

Dr Morales is the best including all his staff, professionalism, efficiency, friendliness, knowlegeable, you name it all. I am so blessed that I am under his care. Shout out to Jennifer and Jenny who made me feel at home.if A big thank you Judy Velasco

- Judith V

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Amelia B for Dr. Morales in Winter Garden

Morales is very professional

- Amelia B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Mursal S for Dr. Morales in Winter Garden

Good experience

- Mursal S

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Alexander P for Dr. Shaikh in Winter Garden

Good

- Alexander P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Nancy N for Dr. Antonos in Winter Garden

Thank you!

- Nancy N

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Farris Rivers N for Dr. Shaikh in Winter Garden

The entire office was very professional and accommodating.

- Farris Rivers N

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Amanda B for Dr. Morales in Winter Garden

Very informative and in depth

- Amanda B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review by Fred S for Dr. Morales in Winter Garden

Very attentive. Took time to explain the entire procedure

- Fred S

5 out of 5 stars on